Starlight Child

  • Publisher: Orange Grove Press
  • Series: The Light-Years Series , 3
  • Release Date: Sept. 22, 2020
  • Genre: Science Fiction Romance
  • Available Formats: eBook, eBook and Paperback
  • Digital: 9781952886089
  • Paperback: 9781952886317

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Cultural specialist Mara Hendricks and Commander Deke Sage meet on a mission that takes them across the stars and into each other’s arms in this suspenseful science fiction romance.

Psychic Mara Hendricks joins the rescue team after aliens from Yanura kidnap her best friend’s infant daughter. Not only will her special ability aid in tracking the baby’s location, but she’s also familiar with the Yanurans through her work for the government. She runs into a snag when the arrogant mission leader accuses her of being too trusting, but she believes the Yanurans might have been set up to take the blame.

Commander Deke Sage knows the aliens are hiding more than the missing child. There’s something fishy regarding their claims about an age-preserving drug made from seaweed, and he’s been ordered to investigate. Mara is too naïve to see the truth but too captivating for him to ignore. As their mission progresses, they realize there’s a bigger conspiracy than either of them suspected. They’ll both have to open their hearts and their minds to save the missing child.

“Nancy captures you from the start, takes you on a fantastic ride, and doesn’t release you until she finishes the story. Captivating and wonderful!” Bestselling Author Janelle Taylor

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“Nancy captures you from the start, takes you on a fantastic ride, and doesn’t release you until she finishes the story. Captivating and wonderful!” Janelle Taylor, Bestselling Author

“The characters, from the green-skinned Croags to the tree-dwelling Worts, and the unusual settings stun the senses. The action is explosive and stimulating; the passion is torrid and sensual. Though the books in this trilogy can stand alone, I recommend you read them all.” Rendezvous

“A futuristic romance both sensual and adventurous, Starlight Child is a captivating story of life and love in the vastness of space.” The Paperback Forum

“The return of old friends and the fast-paced storyline are definite crowd pleasers. Starlight Child is a superb futuristic romance.” Affaire de Coeur

“Nancy Cohen has penned yet another brilliant and unforgettable tour de force futuristic romance.” The Talisman

“The passion between these characters is ‘out of this world.’ If you enjoy a little science fiction, a little fantasy and a lot of romance, this book is a definite read by a wonderful author who reaches into her characters’ soul and mind and taps into their passion without overindulging the reader.” The Literary Times

“Ms. Cohen really hits the spot with this rip-roaring adventure through the stars.” RT Book Reviews

“An infant is kidnapped and the Coalition mounts a rescue mission with four of its best hopes for a successful outcome. Their journey takes Deke and Mara, along with two friends, to a hostile world, Yanura, that wishes to join the Coalition. Things go from bad to worse in a white-hot starlight minute, and it seems these troubled couples—and the kidnapped infant—are doomed to die. Another fine, sensuous adventure into the stars from the talented futuristic romance author Nancy J Cohen. I was surely sorry to see the Light Years Series end. I recommend the entire trilogy.” Muddy Rose Reviews

“I thoroughly enjoyed this series! Interesting characters and details. lots of twists and turns! A must read!” Charlene’s Reviews

“When Mara gets a call in the middle of the night, she knows something is wrong. Someone has kidnapped her goddaughter. There are only three ships that left during the kidnapping window and one of them is someone Mara knows. She is sent to their planet to check things out. The problem is that Deke, who is in charge of the expedition, has a pre-conceived notion of the people. They butt heads the whole way to the planet while they are very attracted to each other. Neither will give in. Can they find out what is really going on and find the baby before they are all killed? Will either of them bend in their beliefs?” Julia D.’s Reviews

“Starlight Child is the third book in The Light-Years Series trilogy. Just like Circle of Light and Moonlight Rhapsody before it, it’s the perfect blend of science fiction and romance, an exciting story that is strange and familiar at the same time. Author Nancy J. Cohen has created a world populated by well-developed, fascinating characters – human and not-so-human – that are mysterious and dangerous, sometimes appealing, sometimes repulsive, but always keeping you turning the pages to find out what will happen to them next.” Sally’s Reviews

“In this third book of the trilogy we meet Mara Hendricks, a cultural specialist who is off on a mission to save her best friend’s daughter who has been taken. She’s psychic and using this gift will help her in locating the child. Mara isn’t alone on this mission though. The man leading it is Commander Deke Sage. Deke doesn’t seem to care much for Mara or the gifts she claims to have. The two are at odds from the beginning but Mara can’t help the attraction she feels for the obstinate man. Deke tries to keep Mara at a distance, the two can’t seem to agree on much, but the feelings flying between them can only be denied so long. Can they save the child and will love win in the end?” Taryn’s Reviews

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A woman’s high-pitched screams of anguish tore through the night. The piercing cries lanced into Mara’s sleep-numbed mind and awakened her.

Sitting up abruptly in bed, she listened acutely. Dead silence filled the room.

Her gaze swept the bedchamber, resting upon her modern built-in shelving unit with its holovid array, the chest of carved wooden drawers from her home planet Tyberia, and the display case with her collection of sculptures. The room’s illumination had brightened automatically when she sat up, but still her heart raced and her spine chilled with fear.

Could the awful sounds have come from Hedy? An urgent need to check on her roommate propelled her out of bed, but a glimpse of the petite brunette sleeping next door reassured her that all was well.

After a hasty search of the rest of the apartment, Mara concluded she’d been dreaming. Letting out a breath of relief, she grabbed a wrap from her chamber and told herself to calm down. But the agonized cries kept reverberating in her mind as though they were real, and she couldn’t dismiss the uneasy feeling that something was wrong.

Trying to shake off the remnants of her nightmare, she strode to the fabricator in the living area to conjure a warm drink, hoping it would soothe her sensitized nerves. She stood watching the alcove in the wall as her beverage materialized in a large ceramic mug. Drinking a cup of wagmint tea always calmed her when she felt tense, and it had been a particularly aggravating day at work. Maybe that was why her sleep had been disturbed.

As soon as the notion came to her, she dismissed it. She hadn’t awakened because of insomnia. A woman’s screams had torn her from the fabric of slumber. They had sounded as real to her as the mug in her hand. Although it had been synthesized from a molecular matrix, the mug was solid. She believed the sounds she’d heard were just as substantial. It couldn’t have been a dream. And if not, then whose distress was so great that it had touched her while asleep?

She was just raising the cup to her lips when a loud chime shattered the heavy silence.

“Computer, open channel,” she said, her voice trembling. “Hello? Who is it, please?” Holding her breath, she waited for the response.

“It’s Sarina,” said her friend in a tense tone. The video was off, so Mara couldn’t see her face. “Can you come over?”

Her throat constricted. “It’s two-thirty in the morning. What’s wrong?”

“I… can’t explain over the commlink. Oh God, Mara, what am I going to do?” Sarina’s voice cracked. “Please, come quickly!”

“I’ll be there.” Mara terminated the link, set her mug down, and obtained a set of lace underwear and a plum stretch jumpsuit from the fabricator. As she pulled them on, she wondered what could have happened.

Her imagination ran wild with all sorts of ominous possibilities, making her fingers quake so badly that fastening her jumpsuit required a major effort.

After sparing a brief glance at the reflector to straighten her long hair, she strode into the foyer. Her shiny black boots were where she’d left them beside the door. As she shoved her feet inside, she composed a voice message for Hedy. Normally her roommate slept as soundly as a hibernating bear, but Mara didn’t want Hedy to worry should she awaken alone.

Outside, the dark sky above the biosphere’s crystal domed ceiling was studded with stars. Breathing in the cool, crisp air, she focused on determining the quickest route to Sarina’s. They lived some distance from each other even though Bimordus Central was relatively compact.

Taking an airbus or a people mover meant she’d have to change vehicles along the way. It might be more expedient to walk three blocks to the transport terminal and requisition a speeder.

Making her decision, she strode at a fast pace along a paved walking path dimly lit by low footlights. Her surroundings faded into the background of her preoccupied mind. Wrinkling her brow, she wondered what could have happened to cause Sarina such anxiety.

Was her daughter ill? Seven months old, the pretty blond-haired, blue-eyed babe already showed signs of her exceptional heritage. Jallyn Diana bore the sacred sign of the circle on her palm in the same manner as her gifted mother.

Although Sarina was the legendary Great Healer, Mara knew that her healing power was limited. She hoped Jallyn hadn’t been stricken with a disease Sarina couldn’t cure. As the child’s godmother, she felt very close to her.

Moisture pricked her eyes and she sought to divert her concern by examining different possibilities. Perhaps Jallyn was not the cause of Sarina’s trouble. Could Sarina herself have been attacked? She’d made her share of enemies while becoming the Great Healer. Briefly, Mara reviewed the story that had become nearly as familiar to her as her own history.

Sarina had been abducted from Earth by Captain Teir Reylock of the Coalition Defense League. As ordered, Teir had delivered her to the High Council on Bimordus Two for her marriage to Lord Rolf Cam’brii. Through this union, it was believed Sarina would fulfill an ancient prophecy and become the Great Healer.

Mara could hardly believe that a mere two annums had passed since the horrible plague called the Farg had swept through Coalition space, followed by the dreaded Morgot conquerors. The Morgots had sought to stop the prophecy’s fulfillment. They’d hired Cerrus Bdan, a Souk slave trader, to eliminate Sarina and Teir, who was acting as her bodyguard. Bdan failed to meet his objective. When Sarina fell in love with Teir, her power activated and she became the Great Healer. She eradicated the Farg and chased the Morgots from Coalition territory.

Beside the Souks and the Morgots, who else would have reason to resent Sarina’s interference in their affairs? Mara supposed former councillor Daimon could be considered a contender. The powerful statesman had been a leader of the Return to Origins faction, a secessionist movement that had gained favor during previous crises.

Daimon tried to have Sarina and Lord Cam’brii assassinated to prevent their marriage from taking place, fearing the legend’s fulfillment would strengthen Coalition unity. When Sarina became the Great Healer, Daimon was forced to resign. But Mara had heard his followers were active on other worlds.

As she mulled over the alternatives, her gut feeling told her that none of these pertained to Sarina’s current distress. Something else was involved here.

She’d just have to wait to learn the answers.

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